Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Private Limited manufactures auto parts and sold them to Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited, another Indian corporation in the Toyota Group. In FY 2013-14 Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Private Limited paid a 5% royalty to the Japanese parent Toyota Motor Corporation for use of know-how. The royalty rate had been determined by application of the TNMM method.
The Indian tax authorities did not agree with the choice of method and argued that the most appropriate method was the Profit Split Method (PSM).
Judgement of the Tax Appellate Tribunal
The Tribunal decided in favor of Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts and set aside the assessment.
“17. It is clear from the above OECD guidelines that in ‘order to determine the profits to be split, the crux is to understand the functional profile of the entities under consideration. Although the comparability analysis is at the “heart of the application of the arm’s length principle”, likewise, a functional analysis has always been a cornerstone of the comparability analysis. In the present case the Assessee leverages on the use of technology from the AE and does not contribute any unique intangibles to the transaction. It may be true that the Assessee aggregated payment of royalty with the transaction of manufacturing as it was closely IT(TP)A Nos.1915/Bang/2017 & 3377/Bang/2018 linked and adopted TNMM but that does not mean that the transactions are so interrelated that they cannot be evaluated separately for applying PSM. Further, the Assessee does not make any unique contribution to the transaction, hence PSM in this case cannot be applied.
18. Therefore, we are of the view that TNMM is the Most Appropriate Method in the case of assessee. The decision of the Tribunal in the earlier AY 2008-09 has also been upheld by the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka in ITA No.104/2015, judgment dated 16.7.2018, which was an appeal of the revenue against the order of Tribunal for AY 2008-09. The Tribunal has upheld TNMM as MAM from AY 2007-08 to 2011-12. In those AYs the dispute was whether TNMM or CUP was the MAM. It is for the first time in AY 2013-14 that the revenue has sought to apply PSM as MAM. In the given facts and circumstances, we are of the view that TNM Method is the Most Appropriate Method and the AO is directed to apply the said method in determining the ALP, after affording opportunity of being heard to the assessee. The grounds of appeal of the assessee are treated as allowed.
19. The facts in AY 2014-15 are identical and the reasoning given in AY 2013-14 will equally apply to the AY 2014-15 also and the TPO is directed to compute the ALP for AY 2014-15 by applying TNMM as the MAM , after affording due opportunity to the assessee.
20 The other issues with regard to the objections regarding the manner in which ALP was determined by applying PSM as the MAM does not require any adjudication because of the conclusion that TNMM is the MAM.”